A set of activities collectively called Child Survival Strategies (CSS) have been demonstrated to reduce morbidity and mortality in the under-5 year old children. But Under-5 mortality has been consistently high in the past ten years in Nigeria and whether this was due to lack of knowledge or practice of these strategies is not known. It was therefore necessary to evaluate mothers knowledge and practice of these activities. A descriptive cross-sectional study of nursing mothers and their children attending well-baby clinics in Ibadan was designed. Two hundred and forty nursing mothers and their children were recruited from three types of well baby clinics (university teaching hospital, state maternity hospital and primary care health centers) in the Ibadan North local government area of Oyo state, Nigeria. Interviewer-administered questionnaire were used to obtain information from mothers about knowledge and practice of breast-feeding, childhood immunizations, oral rehydration, growth monitoring, family planning and relevance of female education to child survival. Anthropometric measurements of the children were taken to determine wasting, stunting and underweight. Result of the analyses showed that majority of the mothers (74%) were married and 17% were single, 31.3% had completed primary and/or secondary education, 16.7% had no formal education while 51.8% had tertiary education. Exclusive breast-feeding was practiced by 67.5%, oral rehydration therapy by 78.3%, growth monitoring and promotion by 7.5%. Timely and complete immunization was practiced by 93.8% for BCG, 80.4% for one dose, 60.4% for two doses and 49.2% for three doses of DPT and oral polio vaccines, 53.8% for measles and 12.1% for hepatitis B. About 55% of the mothers were currently using family planning methods. Sixty-three percent of the children were underweight, 68% were stunted and 23% were wasted. There was no significant relationship between mothers practice of CSS and nutrition of the children. Mothers education was negatively correlated to wasting in the children. This study reaffirms the importance of female education in the practice of CSS and good nutritional outcomes in children. Basic knowledge of child health, nutrition and related issues should continue to be made available to women and be included in the school curricula. Practice of all the CSS components should be encouraged even at the community level.
Rasaki Ajani Sanusi and Adunni Olatokunbo Gbadamosi, 2009. Do Mothers Knowledge and Practice of Child Survival Strategies Affect the Nutritional Status of Their Children?. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 8: 1506-1511.